Also called Pek Muhterem Hanımefendi on occasion. Photographer. Thinks. Writes. Gives many damns.

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  1. "Allah’tan umut kesilmez; lojistikten kesilir."

     -

    Things I Never Thought I’d Say Vol. 3

    A bit tricky to translate but this is as close as I can get to the heart of the meaning: “In God we trust; in logistics we don’t.” This is a reflection on how I feel most days. 

  2. A View From Sarajevo A View From Sarajevo
    High Resolution

    A View From Sarajevo

  3. "Tell them to hurry up; I’ve missed midday prayers and I’m getting calls from the office. I came just to help you guys."

     -

    Things I Never Thought I’d Say Hear Vol. 2

    This particular comment was said by a low ranking local Turkish government official during distribution of basic items to Syrian refugee families that we had identified as been in dire need. While I suppressing the urge to give me several pieces of my mind, I politely explained to him we were working as fast as possible and offered that he left at his own convenience.  

    This man, who was desperate to throw his weight around (unsurprising given that he was as wide as he was tall), also took enormous delight in taking credit for the delivered aid. Not that anyone in my team cared, after all we are doing our duty; this is not charity. 

    I did wonder what his understanding of Islam and its pillars were exactly. Is there an ranking system I am unaware of that deems salat (prayer)more important than zakat (alms)? Or perhaps it’s a downloadable app. 


  4. High Resolution
  5. Some Prejudices Never Change: A screen shot of contemporary Turkey. 
Beyond Borders is scholarship programme aimed at fostering Armenian-Turkish dialogue advertised in Facebook by a well known website.
The first comment, Mr Ersin Altuner: “Big mistake, cannot make friends from Armenians and Jews.”
The second comment, Mr Burak Olgunöz: “There’s no place for Armenians in this country.” 
Then a well-worded rebutted by Mr Bahadır Kaya who talks about the importance of such projects that aim to foster dialogue and eloquently puts the bigoted, hateful douchelords in their place.

    Some Prejudices Never Change: A screen shot of contemporary Turkey. 

    Beyond Borders is scholarship programme aimed at fostering Armenian-Turkish dialogue advertised in Facebook by a well known website.

    The first comment, Mr Ersin Altuner: “Big mistake, cannot make friends from Armenians and Jews.”

    The second comment, Mr Burak Olgunöz: “There’s no place for Armenians in this country.” 

    Then a well-worded rebutted by Mr Bahadır Kaya who talks about the importance of such projects that aim to foster dialogue and eloquently puts the bigoted, hateful douchelords in their place.

  6. "Islam does not allow people to get naked and go swim in the sea. They’ll be skinned alive." - Ayatollah Khomeini

  7. "Even the documents are being waterboarded."

     - The brilliant Sandi Toksvig on The News Quiz. 

    Last week the Foreign and Commonwealth Office claimed that the documents regarding post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, were “incomplete due to water damage”. This is, of course, deeply related to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.  
  8. peechingtonmariejust:

    Dr. Maya Angelou speaks explicitly about her experience with the stigma and shame of being a sex worker/former sex worker.

    "I had a very rough time at 18… and I went on a national show and a woman did the interview who I knew slightly [she smiles softly here and raises her eyebrows] and she said “Maya Angelou! How does it feel to know you’re the first Black woman to have a national bestseller non fiction, your second book nominated for the Pulitzer, and to know that at 18 you were a prostitute?” 

    And it was like a kick in the stomach! However, there is this: You must always be careful who you call out. [She smiles very broadly here and nods to emphasise the word “careful”] When she said that, I said, “Ahhh but there are many ways to prostitute one’s self and you would know about that, wouldn’t you dear?”  

    Whereupon they went to break, [The interviewer laughs heartily] Yes, whereupon her co-host came and concluded the interview.”

    (melissa gönderdi)

  9. A lovely Iftar meal in a well-hidden restaurant in the old city of Tunis. 

  10. The photo is of the “restoration” being carried out at the temple of Apollo Smintheus in Hamaxitia, Çanakkale with a mixture of white cement and marble dust. This and similar type of “restoration” projects, usually outsourced to private companies who haven’t the foggiest about what they are dealing with, by the Culture and Tourism Ministry makes the pictures of Syrian Air Force MiGs blowing up the 12th century Krak des Chevaliers look tame in comparison. The photo is of the “restoration” being carried out at the temple of Apollo Smintheus in Hamaxitia, Çanakkale with a mixture of white cement and marble dust. This and similar type of “restoration” projects, usually outsourced to private companies who haven’t the foggiest about what they are dealing with, by the Culture and Tourism Ministry makes the pictures of Syrian Air Force MiGs blowing up the 12th century Krak des Chevaliers look tame in comparison.
    High Resolution

    The photo is of the “restoration” being carried out at the temple of Apollo Smintheus in Hamaxitia, Çanakkale with a mixture of white cement and marble dust. This and similar type of “restoration” projects, usually outsourced to private companies who haven’t the foggiest about what they are dealing with, by the Culture and Tourism Ministry makes the pictures of Syrian Air Force MiGs blowing up the 12th century Krak des Chevaliers look tame in comparison.

  11. At the Bardo Museum, watching one of the many massive floor mosaics depicting dolphins, Nereids and other sea creatures. Me for scale.  At the Bardo Museum, watching one of the many massive floor mosaics depicting dolphins, Nereids and other sea creatures. Me for scale. 
    High Resolution

    At the Bardo Museum, watching one of the many massive floor mosaics depicting dolphins, Nereids and other sea creatures. Me for scale. 

  12. "We are an NGO, not a hedge fund."

     -

    Things I Never Thought I’d Say Vol. 1

    The finance team, bless their cotton socks, are very fastidious about the work they do. I appreciate them, I really do. Yet at the same time, it occasionally takes Herculean proportions of effort to get them to release money. Money we have been given to spend. For humanitarian aid. For refugees. Operative words: Money, spend, refugees. 

    It is a bizarre mentality to learn to work with that has an equally bizarre effect: every small achievement feels like a major success. I have been known to get very excited because I was able to purchase stationery supplies. I kid you not when I say in my office we guard our pens with our lives. The one time a colleague went to the finance team with her best “Please, Sir, can I have some more” impression for pens she was told that as we are an NGO we have to be careful what we spend our money on. Which I commend as an attitude, but how are we expected to work as an NGO should if we are not spending the donors money to do what they want us to do… 

    So, on a somewhat shortfuse, I said the above. Got one snigger of laughter and a few blank expressions.

  13. Father’s Day

    I love my father. I love my father because he reads betweens the lines of my belated father’s day email. I love my father because he knows a fruit falls to its roots. I love my father because in our awkward correspondence, he weaves a way of saying: ‘I know you don’t feel like talking, don’t worry, I understand the silence’.  

  14. iamtaksim:

Eliza Young and Simran Sachdev of Physicians for Human Rights say peaceful protest and treating the wounded aren’t crimes. #IAmTaksim
iamtaksim:

Eliza Young and Simran Sachdev of Physicians for Human Rights say peaceful protest and treating the wounded aren’t crimes. #IAmTaksim
    High Resolution

    iamtaksim:

    Eliza Young and Simran Sachdev of Physicians for Human Rights say peaceful protest and treating the wounded aren’t crimes. #IAmTaksim

  15. 25 years ago this iconic image was captured by photographer Stuart Franklin. Normally we only ever have seen the lower left hand corner. However, I find the full image more powerful. The never-ending military might that disappears into the top right hand corner, only suggesting there are more tanks where they came. 
And this one solitary male figure in a white shirt standing in front of them. No one knows who he is, or what happened to him. The entire photograph speaks to me about humanity. 
The world over there are monuments dedicated to the Unknown Soldier. There should be monuments to the Unknown Protester.

    25 years ago this iconic image was captured by photographer Stuart Franklin. Normally we only ever have seen the lower left hand corner. However, I find the full image more powerful. The never-ending military might that disappears into the top right hand corner, only suggesting there are more tanks where they came. 

    And this one solitary male figure in a white shirt standing in front of them. No one knows who he is, or what happened to him. The entire photograph speaks to me about humanity. 

    The world over there are monuments dedicated to the Unknown Soldier. There should be monuments to the Unknown Protester.

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